If or when braces become necessary for you, we are here to help you on your path to a smile you can be proud to wear. It’s natural to have questions and concerns about any orthodontic treatment, and we are here to help you navigate that journey. Knowing what to expect can help make the process less stressful, allowing you to focus on the end goal – loving your smile!
Though we often associate braces with teenagers or pre-teens, there is no set age limit for getting braces. Correcting misalignment at any age can improve your oral health and give you a confident smile. If you are considering braces but aren’t sure if they are right for you, we are here to answer your questions.
Here are a few of the basics about braces.
How Do Braces Work?
Braces apply steady pressure to gradually move your teeth into alignment over time. This pressure creates a mechanical response in the periodontal membrane. This kind of “remodeling” happens as the stimulation applied to your bone and tissue causes new cells to grow, changing the position of your teeth.
Do They Hurt?
As your bite adjusts, you will notice some general soreness, as well as some gum and cheek irritation. This discomfort is usually mild, and is only temporary. Adjustments by your orthodontist and staff throughout your treatment can minimize any pain or discomfort you experience.
The Basic Components of Braces
Brackets are small square pieces attached to the face of each tooth with an orthodontic glue (though sometimes they are attached to orthodontic bands instead). These brackets are made of stainless steel and function like handles, holding onto the wires that move the teeth. Brackets can sometimes be worn on the back of the teeth, making them less noticeable.
Bands made of stainless steel wrap around the back teeth to create an anchor point for the brackets.
Spacers are used to create gaps for the bands, and fit in between your teeth.
Arch wires attach to the brackets and create the movement needed to align the teeth. Arch wires are typically made of metal.
Ties are small rings or wires that attach the arch wires to the brackets.
Springs are sometimes placed on the arch wires between the brackets to create controlled adjustments to the spacing and placement of your teeth.
At Falls Orthodontics we offer self-ligating braces. Self-ligating braces don’t require ligature ties; instead, they clip into the brackets with a special connection. They use the traditional arch wire and highly technical brackets. Self ligating brackets offer many benefits, including:
- Decreasing the bulk in a patient’s mouth, offering more comfort
- A more aesthetic appearance
- More time between appointments
- Less “chair time” at appointments
- A sleek design, meaning less plaque and tartar buildup
Self-ligating braces need fewer appointments because traditional ligature elastics don’t need to be replaced. Fewer appointments means less time being sore after appointments, and a shorter treatment time means your smile is straight sooner!